Friday, May 13, 2005

China Woos South America Now Middle East Woos South America

c
Chavez, President of Venezuela

After Wen's very successful round of visits in South America, others have joined. America, accustomed to keeping the SA continent on a very short and iron studded leash has lost control of the entire continent. Why is this?

Courtesy of Atrios who is in Europe right now:

Thumbing their nose at Uncle Sam
Irene Caselli
Thursday 12 May 2005

America may be flexing its military muscle in the Middle East, but in South America it is losing the diplomatic battle. Irene Caselli reports.

Not smiling now: An anti-American alliance of Arab and South American states? Not exactly what George Bush wanted...
The United States is nursing a bruised ego. After decades of funding malleable regimes, fomenting right-wing coups and building economic hegemony in the Americas, Washington just found itself locked out of its own backyard.

This week saw leaders of the Latin American and Arab worlds meet in a historic summit in Brazil - and the US was denied even the courtesy of observer status. Washington is outraged, fearing that this was more than just a diplomatic slight: it sees it as the latest gesture of defiance from the two regions that bear the deepest grudge over recent US foreign policy.

The Summit of South American-Arab Countries, which concluded on Wednesday and was attended by Iraqi president Jalal Talabani,furthered Latin America's drive to strengthen relationships away from the United States. Brazilian President Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva led moves by South American states to cement alliances outside the US, which has traditionally held the South on a short leash economically.


Ah yes, the Lynnde England school of diplomatic relations! We wonder why this summit is getting precious little coverage in America? Not to mention the raging anti American riots in Afghanistan, Pakisatan and Iraq...

Washington's most throbbing Latin American headache takes the form of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez. Birns believes Chavez, a man who has publicly called President Bush a "dickhead", was "instrumental in orchestrating the summit".


A brief history as to why Chavez calls Bush this name: Bush and the NYT and WP and other media spooks tried desperately to engineer first a recall vote then a military coup then a second vote. He won every time. When he won, the American spook media pretended it wasn't a mandate even when each victory was quite decisive. Unlike, ahem, our little dictator. "Mandate" screamed our press every time.

After this bruising battle with us it is no wonder Chavez, like North Korea, is using tremendously blunt language. The Chinese visited him just a short while ago and left with a cool oil deal then Putin feted him and made a great arms deal which sent Condi screaming for her sharp boots. Then Bush insulted Putin, too. The end of all this is...Venezuela making a deal with Iraq of all people to deal with Americans buying oil. We are the beggars here. We want Iraqi oil. We want Venezuelan oil and we want to control both countries and deny the people there the profits from all that oil.

American oil companies reap huge profits without sharing it with the people of America so why should Iraqis or Venezeulans share in the wealth, too? This dangerous idea irritates and spreads waves of naked fear in our government.

It remains to be seen how far Latin America's bid for greater independence can go. The continent still receives US$1.6 billion financial assistance from the US, and owes vast sums to the IMF and the World Bank. With antagonistic appointments in Washington - such as that of Roger Noriega, a man implicated in the Iran Contra scandal - tensions between Washington and Latin America show no sign of improving in the near future.


This is all about the iron leash: debts. We offer $1.6 billion of money we don't have to them while China just offered $10 billion! I think we were outbid. And it shows. The IMF loans are funny, too. We pretend we fund the IMF but those funds are really Asian funds. We "rent" them and get to use them as our club making us wildly unpopular all over the planet. We think this fear and hatred is making us more powerful.

Ding dong. We lose this bet, too. Someone will make someone pay all the debts, the trillions of dollars owed and it ain't Uncle Sam.
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